Pyongyang shooting of a ballistic missile above Japan exacerbates tensions in East Asia

This launch raises fears of South Korea a next nuclear trial from Pyongyang.


North Korea has proceeded, for the first time since 2017, to shoot a ballistic missile of intermediate range (IRBM) above Japan. Against the background of a fear of a seventh nuclear test by Pyongyang, this launch suddenly brought up the tensions in East Asia. The machine left east at 7:23, Tuesday, October 4, from the North Korean province of Jagang (North). He traveled 4,500 kilometers before being damaged in the Pacific Ocean.

Its vertical passage in the north of the archipelago forced Tokyo to activate its J-Alert system. The inhabitants of the departments of Hokkaido and Aomori (North) were called to shelter. Rail traffic was briefly interrupted. Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida denounced an “thoughtless act” which he “firmly condemns”.

The South Korean president, Yoon Seok-Youl, has promised a “determined reaction”. “This action is destabilizing and shows the blatant contempt of the People’s Republic and Democratic Republic of Korea [RPDC, Official name of the North] for the resolutions of the Security Council and International Security,” said Adrienne Watson, spokesperson for the council of National Security of the United States.

The missile would be a hwasong -12, a model similar to that drawn in August 2017. At the time, it was followed by a nuclear test -the sixth -, presented by Pyongyang as that of a “bomb hydrogen that can equip an intercontinental ballistic missile “.

Rafale of missile launches

A similar sequence is feared. The South Korean Intelligence Service (NIS) expects a seventh North Korean trial between the Congress of the Chinese Communist Party, which begins on October 16, and the mid-term elections on November 8 in the United States . The latest satellite observations, unveiled on October 4 by the Center for International and Strategic Studies, an American think tank, reveal a continuous activity in Punggye-Ri, the nuclear test site of the North.

Now, the context is very different from 2017. Five years ago, the American president, Donald Trump, reacted to the IRBM-Essai nuclear chain threatening to “completely destroy” North Korea. The United Nations had imposed particularly severe sanctions.

This time, the shot follows a real gust of short -range missile launches between September 25 and the 1 er October. Pyongyang, who made no comments on these launches, seemed to protest against large -scale military maneuvers – including the US Nuclear nuclear aircraft carrier Uss Ronald -Reagan – which mobilized, from September 25 to 30, South Korea , the United States and Japan, and against the visit to South Korea in the American vice-president, Kamala Harris, on September 29. The 1 er also corresponded to the day of the armed forces in South Korea.

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/Media reports.